idms digital transformation

Migrating from a hierarchical database to relational is always a challenge and IDMS to Oracle is no exception, particularly when it comes to handling DB Keys. In essence, every record in the database has a 4 byte DB key which uniquely identifies that record within the database. The legacy database uses these DB Keys as pointer chains to implement Set relationships within the data and to efficiently manage the database. However, in a relational world, the DB Keys can cause problems. Replicating their functionality can slow the application and constrains the total number of potential database records that can be held without DB Key reuse.

Keyless IDMS

Modern Systems has developed a way to solve this issue by replacing the DB Key with an alternative structure which is more applicable in a relational environment. This solution automatically determines where DB Keys are used in application code. In most cases it can also make required code updates while automatically flagging any that require additional manual attention.


This solution has been implemented across a diverse array of migration projects, and most recently in a few of our UK government customers’ environments to great effect making the converted application faster and easier to maintain in the future.


To learn more about our IDMS expertise and our other database migration solutions, click here.

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